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Landing Page Optimization (LPO) In Fifteen Minutes

Posted on 5.06.2007

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The landing page is the first impression a prospect gets about a product or service when visiting your website. Therefore, it is important to optimize to get your site visitors to take the action you are requesting. Even the slightest improvement (or deterioration) on these pages can make an immediate and major impact on your bottom line.

It is important to note that a landing page is not the step in the sales cycle where a user completes a form – e.g. enters their credit card information. That step is in the virtual sales funnel, referred to as a transactional page. There is a separate set of optimization tips for transactional page optimization, or TPO. The purpose of landing pages is to provide a location for end-users to build confidence through a variety of on-page components. As an affiliate, the challenge many face is convincing buyers to purchase through their website and not another retailer. By giving the consumer a feeling of security, they are more likely to act on your unique selling proposition – buying a tangible product, signing up for a free newsletter, or to complete a lengthy form.

For this purpose, let’s first look at the overarching principles of what makes landing page optimization successful. Only then can we employ the time-tested techniques that make landing pages convert. The simple answer to the question of why one landing page converts better than another is that those with a higher than average conversion rate have mastered reducing buyer anxiety.

Remove Barriers & Distractions
Nothing elicits reverse clicks faster than overwhelming amounts of information – whether it’s visual or textual. Your primary goal as a landing page optimizer is to lessen anxiety, help maintain the momentum of the visitor and make a compelling argument about why following one more link will solve a problem. That may sound like a great deal of effort and contradictory to limiting information but, done right, you can provide everything a user needs to know without overwhelming them. By removing unnecessary barriers and distractions, landing pages will convert at a much higher rate. Here are a few things to consider removing, modifying and adding to improve your current landing page success rates:

Make Company/Website Information Readily Available
The presence of contact information is a sure sign for many end-users that you are available and committed to solving any problems that arise from website transactions. Successful online businesses recognize the importance of building trust and fostering relationships and include the information consumers need to feel confident in a prominent location. Increase the priority and prevalence of phone numbers, include live-support solutions such as CraftySyntax or emphasize your availability by email. All of these opportunities convey to prospects that you take their concerns seriously.

Product/Service Recognition Is Critical
Consumers arriving on a landing page have certain expectations. Whether they followed a paid link from search results pages, clicked a link from an email or typed in a URL directly, the consumer expects to see and learn more about what was originally offered. For example, if your advertisement offers product support, an emphasis on product support should be prominent on the landing page. Even a minor tweak such as this will enable consumers to quickly identify and move toward the purchase of the specific item they came to find.

Sizes, Shapes And Colors Are Key
Every user is unique. By testing how components work together on a page, landing page optimizers are easily able to identify what converts their visitors into buyers. If a landing page background is black, try a light blue. If the font size of section headers is 10, increase it to 14. If thumbnail images don’t provide enough product detail, consider implementing solutions like LightBox - a free and very handy utility that enable LPO’s to present product images in an attractive way without interfering with the site experience.

As Always, Don’t Forget to Test
Often, key items that make a difference in landing page conversion rates are not obvious. As such, the best way to uncover what works best is through a series of tests. Straight A/B testing is an easy but still very effective method to uncover which on-page variables such as headlines, copy, images and offer pricing matter most to the bottom line.

If unsure where to start testing first, you may want to dig into those customer complaint archives to identify areas your consumers determine faulty. For example, if customers routinely ask for more information before buying, test one landing page as is (sample A) and another with more detailed information about the product (sample B). Run the tests over similar time frames and from the same sources, then compare the results. If you find that Sample B performed better, it appears that providing more information, not less, is the way to go.

Testing will uncover not only what you are doing right, but also the sometimes seemingly inconsequential variables that can actually move the ROI needle. Test early and test often, then watch your conversion rate grow.
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